Sunday, September 16, 2007

Chapter 3 - new question - Scraps

Here's my next question for you. :-)

When you've finished a project what do you do with your scraps aka leftovers?

I have what is probably a bad habit and now I don't know what to do. When I have finished a project I put all the scraps and leftovers (no matter the size) into a ziplock bag and toss them in a large Rubbermaid bin. Now, I have five large bins full of ziplock bags with some great scraps and leftovers. I want to know how you handle your scraps/leftovers.

I don't have anything quilty to show you that you haven't already seen. It's time to prep more applique blocks. Simply Vintage blocks 3 & 4 arrived yesterday so I need get busy prepping those.

I'll be looking forward to your answers and comments! Thanks for popping by!

In Friendship!

39 comments:

Nadine said...

Helloooooo !
I just LOVE your questions, dear ..

Amazingly, I don't have so many scraps. I suppose the reason is that I've got so many WIP's, and don't dare separate them from their respective fabrics.
Anyway, my real scraps are cut into 2 1/2 inches squares and stored in big metallic tins, (that I get from the local bakery).
Why do I do that ? I don't know, maybe to make big scrap quilts, some day... And I like to look at those tiny squares, from time to time.
I also try to cut some strips, but not many as I'm not a strings quilt big fan (sewing machine !).

Biiig ((HUGS)) & smiles to you, my friend !
NADINE

Juliann in WA said...

I don't save scraps. After reading the mile a mnutes posts, I thought I would but as I was tossing little pieces from the heartstrings blocks into a bucket to save, I started to worry that now I would feel I had to use them so I ended up tossing them in the trash. If it isn't big enough to actually cut an applique shape, it goes into the trash. At one retreat, some of the ladies kept going through my trash to take out little pieces - it was quite funny.

Carol said...

I'm not real good about saving scraps. If they're big enough I'll save them...I have a space on each color shelf for small pieces...the rest of the pieces go into dog beds for the shelter. They love them. I make almost like a pillow case, nothing fancy out of a half yard for a small pillow and a yard for a large pillow. Sew up 3 sides...I have it hanging by my ironing board...all the little scraps go in there. When it's 2/3 full I fold down the top, stitch it shut and there's a dog bed. The shelter loves the beds, all cotton so they wash them and dry them constantly. We did tons of these when I had the shop and the gals at the shelter would just squeal when we brought them in the door.

Vicky said...

Carol, that's a great idea!!

Scraps are a struggle for me. I let them pile up in a big bag next to my sewing table, and then I spend endless hours cutting them into strips for the strip bins, or deciding whether to just to toss them. But, now, thanks to Carol, I've got a new plan for those previously thrown away! LOL

Carole said...

I just throw mine in a large bin. Last year I cleaned it out by introduting a good friend of mine to rug weaving. I had dh make a frame for her. I gave lots and lots of strips for the rug. So, my bin is about half full now! lol Then there's a bag for rugs Hum... I wonder if she needs more scraps. lol I will on occasion go into my scrap bin for pieces to include in a quilt. How's the book coming along? lol

joyce said...

I throw them into a drawer or a bag to use later. I use lots of them when making wonky letters or wonky houses.

Vicki W said...

I can't throw out any "good" piece of fabric. I cut scraps into strings or squares (6", 4", 2.5") and toss random pieces into a bin for crumb blocks. Andy I do actually use them periodically - because I actually prefer scrappy quilts.

beckarecka said...

Great question!
I've just started quilting, but have been a crafter for years. Whether it is books or stained glass or quilts...I use every last bit of material. I always have a "scrap" project that I prepare my materials for as I go. From my first quilt I made two more from the scraps. Generally, I jump into the "scrap" project after finishing the original. Currently I'm stripping the extra fabric into 1/2" strips for a rug and saving larger pieces for a crazy quilt. AND, all of the material came from someone else's scrap pile!

Rabbit Stitchings said...

Anything of any size I put back in my stash with the larger piece of it or if I have say a 12" piece I put that back in my stash... but strips only a couple inches and itty pieces I have a large wicker laundry basket I toss them in...I made a king size quilt using those strips to weed that basket down last year. When its over flowing its time for a strip quilt of some kind! Otherwise the strips could take over the world you know!

PamKittyMorning said...

I try and buy right up to the least amount possible so I don't have many leftovers. I save 1 1/2 inch strips for my crocheted rug and then I pile stuff up. If I'm honestly never going to use it, I put it in a bag and give to a quilty friend, anything small goes in the trash.

mar said...

I wish I was disciplined enough to cut them into usable sizes as I go. But I'm not. They get put back in my stash or thrown into a huge plastic bag (was a plastic trash can, but it got too small)

Linda said...

Well I have to admit, I'm too tight to throw anything in the fabric line away. If it's small enough for applique pieces it goes into the applique bin, anything else goes intoa box, bucket bag, whatever it is at the time. Must go through it all and see hwat's there. Do we get a signed copy of the book?....lol...

Karen (Misiz C) said...

If you had asked this question 7 months ago, I would have answered differently. I used to sort all my small pieces by color in clear plastic shoe box size containers. Larger pieces were larger bins, again by color. Earlier this year I discovered Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville site and now, unless it is a piece 1/2 yard or more, I cut all the left over scraps (including the leftover backing) into specific sizes. I love scrap quilts and the sizes I use most are 2" sq., 5" sq., 2x3.5" rect., 2" strips (can be cut down to squares or rectangles or used in string quilts.) I don't sort by color any more, only by size. I have a little 6 drawer rolling cart and two drawer type bins under the cutting table. It took me a while to switch over and cut up all my bins but now it's a no brainer. I don't let them pile up.

Good question Darlene! =)

Wendy said...

I used to have a scrape bin but it piled up and I couldn't find anything. So I sorted what I still liked and gave the rest away. Most of the scrapes if big enough go in a bag together or some pieces go back in the stash with any big pieces there might be. I try not to keep much in the way of scraps. Small pieces go in the trash.

MJ in Michigan said...

I've just started cutting all my scraps accordfing to Bonnie's scrap user's system. You can find her great instructions for it at www.quiltville.com. It sounds like it really works and she accomplishes an amazing amount of quilting so it must work.

Leah S said...

I love scrappy quilts and I've been known to let one piece of fabric pop up in several different quilts! I think the highest count was some pretty purple swirl fabric for yard (how I wished I got more!!) and it ended up in no less than eight quilts now. Probably a 9th when I start to sew string blocks.

I'm probably more excited over a box of scrap fabrics than a whole quilt shop! I absolutely love the variety.

If you look into my archives, I'm rather well known for my purple and green combos. So about 90% of those two colors have been cut at least once into 2" squares. Leaders and enders, ala Bonnie Hunter. :)

I save all strips that are 1" and bigger. I'm sure there'll be a lot of string quilts in my future!

If quilter wanted to give me a present (like swaps, secret quilt sisters, etc), I'd tell them scraps over yardage in a heartbeat!

The funny thing is, I don't like to buy FQs or small pieces less than 1 yard. So it's either scraps or yards, and not much in between!

I do implement Bonnie's strip system and have bins with 1.5", 2", 2.5" and 3.5" strips available at my fingertips. Exceedingly useful. :)

To me, a scrap is something that's 12" square or smaller. The bigger stuff that's under a yard usually go into my strips drawer.

Sweet P said...

I save anything larger than a 2.5 inch piece. I have a pine cart with a drawer for each size 2 - 6 inches. Some days I dig through the drawers for a project. But I'm really waiting for a blizzard and then I've told myself I'm going to play with my scraps.

tami said...

Your questions are so much fun. :-D
I love scrap quilts, but I usually cut from my 1 yard or larger stash pieces to make them. I cut a strip or 2 from the fabric, then refold it and put it back. I have some plastic storage with drawers. I put skrids (trimmed off triangles, leftover strips, leftover binding...)in one. In another drawer I put scraps half a yard or smaller. Anything larger is on the shelves. Not very effecient which is probably why I'm not very good at using them up.

Kim said...

I use my scraps to make boxers and briefs. Okay, my real answer is that anything around the size of a FQ or larger goes into the stash. Anything smaller goes into one of two wire drawers (one for Thimbleberries/one for non-Thimbleberries). Every so often, I try to make a scrappy quilt to use some of them up. I also try to remember to pull fabrics from those drawers whenever I'm just working on anything that uses scraps--like an applique project. Works for me so far!

Red Geranium Cottage said...

I usually toss the scraps. I used to save them and save them and they took over the room. Now I move on. Want some? LOL!!

Pam said...

Hi Darlene. I do exactly what you do but I only have one small rubbermaid container of ziplock baggies.

I like the ziplock baggies because it makes me appear organized - even though I am not - LOL

I love reading all the other responses - some great ideas there.

Katie said...

I have a scrap bin and also bins with strips of different widths. I also have a ScrapSaver template and every once in a while I take some time to cut the scraps into triangles. Maybe one day I'll have enough to make into some enormous scrap quilt!

My feeling is that even the littlest piece will be valuable for something.

Belvie said...

I have a big rubbermaid bin that I put scraps in. I'm not neat enough to put them in ziploc bags like you do....I just toss them in. I like scrappy quilts and eventually use them for that. I have even been known to purchase scrap bags to get more variety of colors that I don't normally work with. I have trouble throwing out even small bits because I think about the price of the fabric. If it is usable, it is like throwing out money to me. Guess that is a result of growing up in "lean times".

Wonderful question! Love reading the responses.

Happy Zombie said...

I do the baggie thing after each quilt/project too. But only the smaller pieces, and the larger pieces go back in my stash. I have two huge bins full of em. I see them and it blows me away how many quilts I've made. So many baggies, so little quilts (because so many have been gifts or shop quilts). It's kinda fun to see all the baggies... a trip down quiltmaking memory lane.

If you've got the space... I think it's a great habit! And who knows... maybe someone 50 years from now will find them and treasure my baggies. I can see it now, someone blogging about the great score of fabric they bought a yard sale.

Alisa said...

I love scraps and you never know when you might need them. I am not very organized though, I should get better system in place. For now, anything smaller than a 4 inch square or 2 inch strip gets tossed into a big bucket. My kids love playing with these and use them in craft projects. 6 inch scraps or larger get tossed into another bucket. Great questions Darlene, keep it up!

Laurie Ann said...

Your best bet would probably be to box them up and ship them out to me!! :) :)

But seriously, I use my scraps up almost as soon as I produce them. I am loving the string quilts.

Dawn said...

I can't even answer that! I used to try and keep them together, but now have started throwing strips into a paper bag and chunks onto my table!

Floss said...

I have the bad habit of putting leaving them in the bag the project was in. Then When I looking for some thing I end up having to look thought a lot of bags of scraps. I want to get some bins, so I can put them in by either size or colour. Either would have to be better than what I am doing now.

HanneJ said...

I put them in a plastic box. Then I organize them again and again, depending on what I've planned to make. I save all sizes, I don't call them scraps unless the pieces are smaller than 10".
Every project I've made over the last year are made with some scraps. A great way of getting a great variety in the quilts without to much cutting!

Knot Garden said...

I save scraps if they'r about 3 inches or more in size, and I save any width strip. If it's a fabric I love or have found particulartly useful, I'll save every tiny offcut.

Yvonne said...

I used to save every, and I do mean every scrap. I had large garbage bags full of them everywhere. One day I got tired of looking at them and got rid of them all. Now I save the bigger scraps and toss the really small stuff. I used to feel badly about that but not anymore.

Doe said...

I have a big laundry basket full of scraps. I'm thinking of throwing it all away. If you know someone who wants scraps, I'll be very happy to send it to them.

kjquilts said...

Scraps drive me crazy! I can't throw them away so I have a little system...if it's a strip it goes in the bin for string quilts, if it's not already a square or a triangle I cut it into one and throw it in the bin where it belongs. I use 2 1/2 inch squares for my scrap quilts (I started that in 2000 with all the swaps).

atet said...

Um, I separate them into "useable" (anything less than a fat quarter -- some 1/4 yards) and "scrap" (everything else -- less than about 8-10" square). Usuable get put in a bin separated by color. Scrap ends up tossed into a bag for some future mile a minute project -- someday.

Patti said...

Looks like you got a lot of great answers to this question - but I can't resist putting in my 2 cents worth.

I would NOT recommend doing what I did - tossing them all in a large plastic tub. Buying another large plastic tub when that one got full. As you know from my blog - I've been working for over a year getting that stuff in workable order. I'm half done. Now everything gets cut to size and sorted accordingly. The final stop is either "string" or "crumb". I've learned how easy it is to pull a tub and start creating away - as long as things are trimmed to size, ready and waiting to become my next creation.

Meredith said...

I sort my scraps by color. I do have a seperate scraps for batiks and 1930s. When I am working on a project I keep everything together then depending on the size of the fabric I eitehr add it to teh scraps or put it back in my stash. If it as big as a fat quater it goes in my stash. Smaller then a fat quater it goes in my scraps. I have not yet made a quilt with my scraps I plan on doing that next year. Some small scraps I save for applique. You can applique things like berries with a small scrap of fabric. I do not get carried away and save everything some pieces are too small.

Helen in the UK said...

I save all my scraps - mostly cut into 1.5", 2", 2.5" and 5" strips in a modified version of Bonnie Hunter's system other have mentioned. I also save and use 'strings'. I feel that with fabric costing so much more in the UK than the US you can't afford to waste any :)

Not Lucy said...

Let's see - I have all of my bigger pieces in plastic bins now except for some really big pieces that are on bolts or folded as if they were on bolts.

I used to put all my scraps in bins but now I am working to go through all that mess.

If it is fabric I don't like or is not 100% cotton I use it to make quilt tops for Lutheran World Relief.

If it is 'good' fabric I cut the scraps into squares (2" 2.5", 3", 3.5", 4", 4.5") anything larger or strips that are at least 2" I keep in plastic drawers.

The smaller pieces or skinnier strips I use for crazy quilt blocks which I use for Project Linus quilts or play quilts for kids I know.

I still have 4 bins of scraps to go through but I think most will be LWR quilt tops which are quick 60" X 80" no special design tops.

I am getting better about not going out and buying fabric for a project and just using scraps, etc. I am not a huge fan of making quilts using just 3 or 4 fabrics. I much prefer the scrappy type quilt.

paula, the quilter said...

I put my scraps in one of two empty 5 gallon paint buckets according to light or dark. When the bucket is full, it's time to make a string quilt (or two).

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